Historic Newsreel Clip: Oppenheimer Issues Warning

“Oppenheimer” is in theaters today and the Hearst Metrotone News Collection has historic newsreel footage for your extended media coverage

Los Angeles, CA, July 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clip from Oct. 26, 1945; 50 seconds: ATOM BOMB SCIENTIST WARNS AMERICA OF DANGERS AHEAD! Research chief of atomic project, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, in-camera interview, tells nation that 40,000,000 in U.S. cities could be killed overnight, and emphasizes that there is no counter-weapon to stop atom bomb.

Clip context: In October 1945, two months after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that led to the end of World War II, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer resigned as director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, where he oversaw the design of the bomb. Soon after, he met with President Truman to discuss the future of atomic energy and how to achieve international control of the weapon. “Mr. President, I feel I have blood on my hands,” he said (Truman later described Oppenheimer as a “cry-baby scientist”). **

In this newsreel interview, recorded after that White House visit, Oppenheimer tells the nation that 40,000,000 people in U.S. cities could be killed overnight by atomic bombs, emphasizing that there would be no counter-measures to stop such destruction.

“The only hope for our future safety must lie in a collaboration, based on confidence and good faith, with the other peoples of the world.” - J. Robert Oppenheimer

Preview the clip online, courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Packard Humanities Institute. Visit newsreels.net to explore more historical footage from the Hearst Metrotone News Collection. 

Download Oppenheimer footage, here

Password: UCLAHEARST1945

CLIP CREDIT: Courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Packard Humanities Institute; from Hearst Metrotone News Collection: newsreels.net.

USE ON SOCIAL, TAG: @uclaftvarchive; @uclalibrary

** Source: From “The Meanings of J. Robert Oppenheimer” Lindsey Michael Banco, 2016, University of Iowa Press, and “Dark Sun: The Making Of The Hydrogen Bomb” Richard Rhodes, 2012, Simon & Schuster.

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Oppenheimer headshot from Newsreel clip_HearstNews_UCLA_2 Oppenheimer_HearstNews_UCLA_1

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